Ripley and James Are Next to Normal in New Musical Opening Off-Broadway Feb. 13

By Ernio Hernandez
13 Feb 2008

Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James in Next to Normal.
Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James in Next to Normal.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's new musical, Next to Normal, makes its official Off-Broadway debut Feb. 13. Musical theatre favorites Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James co-star.

Michael Greif (Grey Gardens, Rent) directs the production, which began previews Jan. 16 at Second Stage Theatre for a limited run through March 9.

Featuring music by Kitt (High Fidelity) with a book and lyrics by Yorkey (Making Tracks), Next to Normal "explores how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their world intact," according to show notes. "How does an almost average family navigate today's over-stimulated and over medicated world? In this darkly funny and haunting new musical, one suburban household confronts its past and its future."

Joining Ripley and James in the cast are Adam Chanler-Berat (Les Misérables), Jennifer Damiano (Spring Awakening), Asa Somers (Grey Gardens, Taboo) and Aaron Tveit (Hairspray).

The design team features Mark Wendland (set), Jeff Mahshie (costume), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Brian Ronan (sound). Musical staging is provided by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).



Mary Mitchell Campbell serves as musical director. Orchestrations are by Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt. AnnMarie Milazzo provides vocal arrangements.

Recently seen in Little Fish in Hollywood, Alice Ripley has played on Broadway in Side Show (Tony nomination), The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce's The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, King David and The Who's Tommy. Other credits for the actress and recording star include Tell Me On a Sunday, Company, Shakespeare in Hollywood, Five Flights, Li'l Abner and The Baker's Wife, among others.

Brian d'Arcy James — who just appeared in Irving Berlin's White Christmas — was last on Broadway in The Apple Tree. Other theatre credits for the actor include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Sweet Smell of Success, Titanic, Carousel, Blood Brothers, The Wild Party, The Pavilion, Flight, Pardon My English and Floyd Collins.

Director Michael Greif's productions have included Broadway's Grey Gardens, Rent and Never Gonna Dance as well as Romeo and Juliet, A Very Common Procedure, Satellites, Landscape of the Body, Mr. Marmalade, Spatter Pattern, The Distance From Here and Beauty of the Father, among others.

Tickets to Next to Normal at Second Stage Theatre, 307 West 43rd Street, are available by calling (212) 246-4422 or online at 2ST.com.